Rich McKay: Atlanta Pursuing MLS Franchise

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Fact: Rich McKay's feet don't get blisters, but his shoes do

Support for a new Falcons stadium has been tepid at best. There's far from universal support for the idea, amidst concerns about cost and general tomfoolery. But alas, it appears the Falcons may have a solution. It's football, or as we Americans call it, soccer.

"We’re far along in negotiations with them," McKay said.

"It’s our objective to get an MLS franchise if we can make it happen. We think it would be, not just great for Atlanta and the region, but really it’s the right thing to do for the southeast."

You can't tell me their interest in establishing an MLS franchise isn't directly linked to their desire for a new stadium. Admittedly the formation of an Atlanta-based MLS team and the building of the new stadium are mutually exclusive. In other words, the stadium will be built, no matter what. Come this Spring they're breaking ground, whether we like it or not.

But the Falcons are deliberately marketing their yet-to-be-built new stadium as more than their stadium. It's being marketed as a multipurpose forum.

The Falcons want a soccer team to play at a new $1.2 billion retractable-roof stadium that will break ground just south of the Georgia Dome sometime in the spring. Falcons officials are promoting the new facility as more than a football stadium, highlighting the multitude of events held at the Dome, including concerts, monster truck rallies and graduations.

I'll be honest, I'm not personally a soccer fan. It's just not my thing, though I certainly respect the sport. The Falcons' strategy here seems to be a sound one, so please don't misconstrue my commentary as criticism.

Your thoughts?

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